DJ Premier reveals the 1990s MC who once called himself “the greatest”
(Credit: Xi WEG)

Old School Archives

DJ Premier reveals the 1990s MC who once called himself "the greatest"

During the 1980s and 1990s, East Coast hip-hop produced some of its best artists. From Nas to Mobb Deep and Lost Boyz, the list is long. However, behind every good artist is a great producer, and there have been a wealth of quality beatmakers, but some are legends. DJ Premier is one of those.

Despite his Texas roots, Premier (real name Christopher Martin) contributed significantly to the wholesome jazz-hop movement that emerged from New York in the late 1980s. Often referred to as ‘Premo’, the musician is highly respected among the greats of the 1990s and has worked with everyone from Jay-Z to Eminem and even Nas.

During the ‘90s, Martin managed to collaborate with the late legend Biggie Smalls and in during an appearance on the So Wassup? Podcast, the beatmaker unveiled a story about the making of the ‘Ten Crack Commandments’ from the 1997 project Life After Death. 

Unveiling some unknown details about the beat of the iconic song, Martin explained how the beat was originally meant for Angie Martinez, stating, “During that time of her new come-up, everybody that’s anybody were doing promos that sounded like records, including us.” He revealed that it was a promotional backing track for her radio show, explaining, “Jeru [The Damaja] was so hot during that era of Hip Hop, and he was also runnin’ Hot 97 just as well amongst Wu-Tang Clan and so many others, including Biggie.”

Speaking about Martinez’s show, Martin added, “But here’s the catch. This beat from ‘Ten Crack Commandments’ was created for Angie Martinez because she did a show called ‘The Hot Five at Nine.’ However, the beat ended up getting shelved and fell into the hands of the Ready To Die rapper.

During the session, Premo recalled Biggie Smalls was teasing Junior M.A.F.I.A member Lil Cease, recounting, “I remember Big sent Cease to McDonalds to get some food and on his way out, he says, ‘Yo man, I hope somebody robs you, Cease.’ And I was like, ‘Why would you want somebody to rob Cease?’ ‘Cause he crippled me,’ just like he said in the song ‘Long Kiss Goodnight.’”

However, it was just a joke, according to the East Coast beatmaker, concluding, “Obviously, he loves Cease so, so, so much, and he still does, even from up above, so it was a fun session. And the crazy thing is, after that song was done, he goes ‘Preme, I did it! I’m the greatest!’”

You can hear DJ Premier speaking about the creation of ‘Ten Crack Commandments’ in the video below.